Computer & Internet Access

Public access television is open to all people with varying skill sets and experience with technology.  However, if you plan to produce your own television show in today's digital world, you first need a basic understanding of how computers work. These skills will help you in many areas of life. Public access television is all about putting the tools in your hands for production (working with cameras, microphones, lights, and other production equipment), postproduction (editing on a computer using software), and distribution (using the Internet and other software to format, submit, and promote your programs), but it does require that you know the basics of using computers, especially Macintosh (Apple) computers, which are commonly used in the digital media industry and are the primary tool for creating programs at SF Commons.  If you're brand new to using Apple computers, it is recommended that you take an introductory workshop. Here are some places in San Francisco where you can obtain those skills and become more comfortable with navigating computers and the Internet.

Basic Computer Classes

San Francisco Public Library
Basic Mouse and Keyboard Skills: Basic Mouse and Typing Skills: If you have never used a computer keyboard or a mouse, volunteers are available to help acquaint you with these basic skills.
Teen/Senior Computer Help: Teens help senior citizens learn how to use the Internet, email, word processing, and more.
Basic Computers for Grown-Ups: Hands on computer coaching.

Broadcast Electronic Media Art at City College of San Francisco
BCST 119 Digital Media Skills (3) is a hands-on overview of computer operations, industry standard software, equipment common to digital video and audio production, media storage and manipulation of audio and video media within the digital realm. Introduction to issues and the impact of new technology in the sound recording, video, multimedia, television, radio and film industries.

Computer Basics and Microsoft Office
Computer Basics and Microsoft Office class is a comprehensive course in business office practices with emphasis on industry standard computer operation and applications.  The course is designed for adult learners and uses computer based instruction with individualized or cooperative work/study groups.  Classes are broken into nine weeks sessions. Students may enroll for up to three consecutive 9-week sessions as needed to complete the curriculum.  Each session is $60.00 + books.  

Community Technology Network
Various programs and workshops for seniors and adults.

SF Computer Training
Offers one-on-one and small group classes.

Computer Learning Center: Bridging the Digital Divide
The public, residents of the YWCA Apartments, Chinatown Youth Program participants, and their families can take introductory computer classes at the Computer Learning Center in the lower level of the YWCA Apartments. The Computer Learning Center offers basic computer skills, internet tutorial, and educational programs in English and Cantonese. 

Internet Access

BAVC offers computer workstations and Internet access to our members. Media ingest on lobby workstations is given priority, but if no one is using the machines, you are welcome to use them for general Internet access and email.

The San Francisco Public Library and many of its branches offer drop-in computers with Internet access; you may also Reserve a Computer online to guarantee one will be available when you need it. 

Affordable Computer Ownership

Reliatech sells refurbished machines that are good for general purpose Internet access from home.  They also allow individuals and nonprofits to apply to receive one for free.